Biodiversity record?

Ted Oliver olivert at NBICT.NBI.AC.ZA
Fri May 16 12:49:18 CDT 1997

In reply to the comments of Steve Rae:-

The remarkable biodiversity I mentioned within the genus Erica is
certainly not  the result of an overdose of taxonomic enthusiasm on
the part of previous taxonomists.  I have been working on the genus
for the past 30 years and in depth during the last 10.  Admittedly
there are areas in the genus where reduction needs to be carried out
in some horrible species complexes.  I tend to the 'lumping' side
of taxonomy so I can assure you that the high number of species is
very real.  If I were like some taxonomists I know, I could easily
improve the species count to 800!   I have reduced the number of
species already but then I have some 50 spp. novs. still to describe.
 Three spp. novs came in during the last year from within 90 kms of
Cape Town, collected by amateurs.

I mentioned that the species in the areas given were quite unrelated
ones, noting that the pollination syndromes varied from long-nosed
flies to bees to birds to wind, certainly very different strategies.

Yesterday I was in the field in another area and noted 4 species per
sq m.

E.G.H. `Ted' OLIVER  (Mr)
Compton Herbarium
National Botanical Institute,  Kirstenbosch
P Bag X7,  Claremont,  7735 SOUTH AFRICA
Tel: +27 21 7621166    Fax: +27 21 761 4151
olivert at

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